Istanbul Travel Guide

Inscriptions in Istanbul

  • Many Ottoman Sultans set their heart on calligraphy

  • Inscriptions of Istanbul continue for centuries non-destructive

  • Inscription in Istanbul

  • Inscription is generally used for the writings over a building

  • Mihrimah Sultan Mosque Sebili

There are inscriptions in all nations. Inscription is generally used for the writings over a building. Celî sulus ayah over Halic Door of Suleymaniye Mosque is an example of inscription. Formulas over the entrance of Fatih Mosque’s cemetery which is located in the garden is counted as inscription as well.

The oldest inscriptions of Istanbul

Inscriptions in Istanbul survived for ages without destruction because the weather was clean. One of the oldest inscriptions of Istanbul appears in Fatih Mosque. The construction of this mosque finished in 1470 and inscription over the main door was written by an Ottoman calligraphist who was called Ali Sufi. Another one of the oldest inscriptions of Istanbul is the inscription of Bab-i Humayun which was also written by Ali Sufi.

* Celî sulus is a type of calligraphy.

Ottoman Sultans set their heart on calligraphy

Sultan Ahmed III engaged in calligraphy much concernedly. Although many Ottoman Sultans set their heart on calligraphy, six or seven names could memorialize as calligrapher sultan. Sultan Ahmed III wrote himself inscription of Celi Sülüs of fountain which is set opposite of the Bab-ı Hümayun, even he write down its date himself. ( it is useful to mention that briefly; there is number rate of each Arabic letters; starting from Elif, it rises up to 1000 as it is firstly ace, then denary, then hundred and when poets of the era wrote poem, they wrote the year of that construction in the last line. This is called the writing down the date its calculation is called ‘’ebced’’).

Inscriptions continue for centuries non-destructive

Inscriptions of Istanbul continue for centuries non-destructive, because the air was clean; Sulphur dioxide which is found in polluted air turns into sulphuric acid and it destroys inscriptions. Already marble is ready to crawl. In this way there are incidents of inscriptions in the last 30-40 years, but  they had not these incidents previous 450 years.